It has been three months now since my weekend excursion to Palma, and with another trip looming in just four weeks (yay!) I thought it was about time I got off my chops and finally wrote up my trip.
Palma is a relatively small city, but one with an incredibly rich history and as such plenty of tourist spots to explore. I’m going to begin this post with an excursion we went on outside of the city; now I know this isn’t technically Palma but it was the highlight of my long weekend and certainly deserves a special mention.
Tren de Soller
The Tren de Soller is pretty much what it says on the tin: a train to Soller. I’m aware this doesn’t sound particularly exciting, but it was one of the most gorgeous scenic trips I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. An old rickety wooden train, I had my doubts when boarding about how much I was actually going to enjoy this trip, doubts which were quickly squashed as soon as we set off.
For the majority of the ride into the mountains Carys and I barely spoke a word to each other, choosing instead to just sit quietly and soak up the views. The train also stopped at a beautiful lookout point, where naturally everyone tried to get their best landscape shots and more importantly, selfies. Each train cabin also had an outside balcony which Carys and I fully utilised on the journey back to Palma for its stellar views as well as the opportunity to get that perfect shot.
Soller itself is a tiny little town set within the mountains with a beautiful gothic cathedral in the centre and a square surrounding it, full to bursting with cafes, restaurants and touristy trinket shops. After visiting the cathedral, we each enjoyed a pizza just across the square, sitting outside the Pizzeria to take in as much of the town as possible in our short time there (and to catch the last of the sun before returning back to the rain at home!). This was followed by some gorgeous gelato just next door to the restaurant, and so our short time in Soller drew to a close.
Unfortunately our time restrictions were quite limiting in terms of what we could explore, but there is a tram from Soller that takes you down to the waterfront which I’m told is stunning. I’m gutted we missed it during our short time there, but if anyone is travelling to Soller any time soon I would seriously suggest you visit – I only wish we could have!
Palma Cathedral is the real hub of the city, especially in terms of tourist spots. Built in 1601 by the Crown of Aragon (and redesigned by famous architect Antoni Gaudi in 1901), the cathedral is set behind a massive pool in which it is reflected. Having once sat beside the sea, the land was extended in order to create more functional roads and the pool was built to mimic the reflection it once had in the ocean (or so our bus driver said). Carys and I didn’t actually get a chance to see inside the cathedral having lost track of time, arriving one evening with hope of going in to then be told it was a Sunday and it had closed early. I am truly gutted about this as I adore Gaudi’s work, but pictures I’ve seen online of the interior are stunning and again, I would heavily suggest a visit to this cathedral. The pool outside the cathedral is a lovely place to sit during golden hour, and receives a lot of evening sun if you’re looking for somewhere to relax.
Bellver Castle was one of the stops we visited on the hop-on-hop-off bus tour of the city. It was a fairly chilly day when we visited, something which we hadn’t expected, and as such most of my memories of that day revolve around our attempts to stay warm rather than the castle itself. That being said, it’s design and structure is lovely and the view across the city from its lookout point at the top of the hill is beautiful. Certainly worth a trip if you’ve got a free day to explore.
Much of the remainder of our trip revolved around the bank holiday celebrations in the market place, as well as scouting out the delicious food Palma had to offer (both of which you can read about here! We didn’t see too much else of the city, but I absolutely loved the parts we visited and the locals were super helpful with suggestions of places to visit. Palma was the perfect location for a long weekend away – I hope I get the chance to return one day, mainly to catch the tram to Soller port!